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Don't Waste this TimeMarch 29, 2020
This line that formed the beginning for several little books that John Piper wrote has been pounding in my heart and head over the last few weeks: Don't Waste this time. The trutth is that all time is a great and gracious giff trom God that we who are believers should always seek to. use for the prasie of His Name, but this time is very special and very sacred. There are thousands of people who are more open to the Gospel now than in long, long time. We must not waste this time that God has given us. We must use it to invest in and to improve our own walk with Jesus and to reach out to others with a clear witness to the Gospel. Here are some ways that have come to me in recent days in which we can use this time.
We can seek God more faithfully and more fully (Matthew 6:33). We can step up our game in our quiet time. Many of us will have time that we did not have before. Reading a short devotion on our mobile devices or using a devotional guide with a scripture and a story are better than nothing, but why not invest more and go deeper during these days. What a great time to start in a consistent Bible Reading Plan if you are not already doing it or to start writing down in a notebook or collecting in a computer file what God is teaching you in these days. Lifeway is offering all kinds of resoureces now at significant discounts and Ligonier Minstires is making all of its teaching resources available at no cost (ligonieir.org). Enjoy and engage more with RightNow Media.
We can serve our neighbors. We can seek God and ask HIm to show us how we can better serve our neighbors. Our daughter and her kids got up on Sunday morning and prior to enjoying the livestream from their wonderful church in Macon, they went prayer walking (rolling) through their neighborhood. Haley called me just elated at what happened. They live in a neighborhood where people stay closed away and closed off from others. They only had been able to meet one of their neighbors but Sunday; they met six of them. They were able to share why they were out and what they were doing. And in one family quite close to them were two children tthat were looking for peoplle their age to play with during these difficult days. Go serve. Go share. The world will draw back in fear in these days, but we will walk in faith.
We can sort our lives. The truth is, and I beleive every belliever I know knows this to be true: our lives are caught up by and consumed by the things of this world. And so much of what we are connected with and committed to is so good. We derive such pleasure from so many things that are simply things of this world. We can use them as avenues for Gospel witness but in and of themselves, they serve no purpose in advancing the Gospel. Yet, they consume so much of our time, money, and energy. They keep us running from thing to thing, and we seem to derive meaning from that. We do not know how not to be busy! I am guilty. I cleaned out and arranged my closet this weekend because i was bored; how sick is that? But God has called me I know to a sort of sorting of my life inese days. He is showing me and I pray you that so much of what we thought was so essential is not essential at all. So much of what we must do in order to have meaning in life is not really that meaninguful in the end.
We can also spend this time searching our hearts. We can be such a community of complainers and grumblers, even in the church. We want things the way we want them. We want programs and plans that will help us raise our children and produce students who want to be in church. And we can even begin to think that we and those who think as we think know what is best at all times and in every time. And when things do not go our way, we grumble and complain. God is showing me that I need to pray daily Psalm 139:23-24. Here is.a reason for complaint in the church: what is being taught is heresy and not bibllically faithful. Complain about that. Cry out to the top of your lungs. And if nobody listens and nothing changes, leave. I tend to complain and grumble about things that do not go my way. Do you? Pray Psalm 139:23-24.
How are you usiing this time? Don't waste it. It is a gift from God to so many of us even in its difficulties for us to spend time recalibrating our lives around those things that matter the most. I woke up this morning fully aware of how very blessed I am. I have been given a wonderful wife who loves me so much. I am blessed to be the pastor of a great church. I have been given by God's grace two very wonderufl children who married great people. I am blessed with four wonderful grandchildren. God has given me good health and given me a desire to love Jesus more and more. I. have no reason to complain and every rason to give thanks and praise to God. What about you?